Rocky River's Old Detroit Road

Most of the buildings in Rocky River's old downtown area were erected in the late 1800s. Located here was Mitchell’s Blacksmith Shop owned by Mark Mitchell.  Mitchell, who emigrated from England, served as mayor of the Village of Rocky River from 1903 to 1913. Francis Ingersoll set up Ingersoll Feed and Seed in the old downtown area on Detroit Road and Blount Street (now Lake Road) in 1890. The two-story building consisted of supplies on the first floor and storage on the second. Ingersoll’s later moved to the south side of Detroit Road close to Heinen’s and eventually became known as Ingersoll’s Hardware. The first site of Ingersoll’s is now the home of Mitchell Sotka’s fine arts and antiques store. After over 110 years in business, Ingersoll’s closed in January 2012.

Rocky River’s Old Town Hall opened in 1909 and housed not only the city hall but also the police and fire station - and the city jail. For a few years before Rocky River High School opened in 1919, high school classes were held at the Old Town Hall — the students must have gotten quite an education! The Town Hall was used until 1954, when the new city hall complex on the corner of Hilliard and Wagar roads was built. Today the Old Town Hall is known as the Dixon Building, after the man who built it.

To the right of the Old Town Hall building, where Tartine’s is now located, was the garage that housed Rocky River’s first fire truck. A few years ago Rocky River was fortunate enough to be able to purchase this 1925 fire truck from a collector. It is trotted out from time to time for special occasions.

The Rocky River Historical Society

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.30.2013